National Epilepsy Day is annually observed across India on November 17 to raise awareness about the central nervous system disorder, Epilepsy and to educate people about its symptoms and treatments.
- The Symbol of Epilepsy is the Purple ribbon. Purple commonly represents pancreatic cancer and epilepsy.
- There is also a Purple Day that raises awareness about epilepsy and is observed annually across the globe on March 26.
i. National Epilepsy Day was 1st observed by the Epilepsy Foundation of India, a non-profit organisation. It was started as a national campaign to lower the presence of epilepsy in India.
ii. The Epilepsy Foundation of India aims to improve the quality of life for those who have seizures and to change society’s perspectives on epilepsy.
National Epilepsy Awareness Month – November:
The Epilepsy Foundation has recognised November as National Epilepsy Awareness Month(NEAM) since 1969.
The theme of National Epilepsy Awareness Month 2022 is “There is no NEAM without ME”.
- It reflects the Foundation’s collaborative efforts with the epilepsy community to recognise people with epilepsy and the critical role they play in raising awareness during NEAM.
What is Epilepsy?
i. Epilepsy is a condition that identifies a collection of neurological disorders characterised by abnormal brain activity, resulting in seizures or periods of unusual behaviour, sensations, and in rare cases, loss of consciousness.
ii. According to World Health Organization (WHO), Epilepsy affects 50 million people around the world. In India, about 10 million people suffer from seizures associated with epilepsy.
iii. According to research published in 2021, men are more likely than women to develop epilepsy, possibly due to greater exposure to risk factors such as alcohol usage and head trauma.
iv. The 2 main types of seizures are
- Generalized seizures- affect the whole brain.
- Focal seizures- affect only one part of the brain.
v. Epilepsy has no cure, and conventional therapy is antiseizure drugs.
Symptoms of Epilepsy:
- Epileptic seizures
- Loss of consciousness
- Sudden twitching (Uncontrollable jerking motions of the arms and legs)
- Temporary confusion
- Stiff muscles
- Psychological symptoms such as fear and anxiety.
About the World Health Organization (WHO):
Director-General- Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus
Headquarters- Geneva, Switzerland
Establishment- 7th April 1948
About the Epilepsy Foundation of India:
Founder- Dr Nirmal Surya
Headquarters- Mumbai, Maharashtra,